The St. John’s University men’s soccer team from New York will arrive in Ho Chi Minh City on May 27 for a three-game, 18-day tour in Viet Nam. The team is the first squad from the US to visit Viet Nam.
“This will be a cultural experience for us and we are honored to serve as ambassadors of St. John’s University, the sport of soccer as well as represent the United States,” Dr. David Masur, head coach, said on the university’s website.
|The St. John’s University soccer team|
The trip began on May 25 when they left New York and the US visitors will wrap up their trip on June 11. The team, including 19 student-athletes, will tour Ho Chi Minh City, Da Lat, Ha Noi and Hai Phong. They will visit Ho Chi Minh City with Hong Bang University students on May 28, then travel to Da Lat, and get back to Ho Chi Minh City to play a friendly with the Hong Bang University team on June 4 at Thong Nhat Stadium.
The US visitors will move to Ha Noi to play another friendly with V-League Club Hoa Phat Ha Noi on June 7. They will leave Ha Noi for Hai Phong City, also in the north, on June 9 and play with V-League Club Hai Phong the same day.
The trip is part of the St. John’s University’s partnership with Viet Nam to foster academic programs and work jointly with the Vietnamese Sports Committee.
“It’s going to be such a rush to step on the field in Vietnam and be the first American college soccer team to ever play there,” Georgios Spanos, St. John’s sophomore defender, said on the university’s website.
He added, “I’m a history major so it makes the trip all the more interesting for me. I’m also interested in hearing how their players view world issues, how they condition and train and what their coaches expect of them.”
Accompanying the team and coaching staff will include administrators Jeffrey Fagen, Ph.D., Dean of St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Frank Biafora, Ph.D., Associate Dean of St. John’s College and Chris Monasch, Director of Athletics at St. John’s.
The university signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with the Vietnamese Sports Committee in January 2006.